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Indian leader sparks controversy by defending rapists

Indian politician Mulayam Singh Yadav. File Pic
Indian politician Mulayam Singh Yadav. File Pic

74-year-old Indian politician and former defence minister of the country, Mulayam Singh has sparked a controversy by defending rapists saying “Boys make mistakes, why hang them?”

New Delhi, April 11/Nationalturk – Senior Indian politician and former defence minister of the country, Mulayam Singh Yadav has sparked a controversy by saying that rapists should not be hanged as “Boys make mistakes, why hang them?”

“Rape accused should not be hanged. Men make mistakes,” said 74-year-old Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is chief of Indian political party Samajwadi Party, that rules in India’s largest populated state of Uttar Pradesh.

His son Akhilesh Yadav is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Opposing country’s new anti-rape law, Mulayam said, if his party is voted to power in India, it would change the law that entails death for rapists.

“There was a need to change the new rape law which provides for death sentence to repeat rape offenders. Efforts will be made to change such a law, so that those misusing it are punished. Those filing false reports will also be taken to task,” he said.

The former Indian defence minister said boys and girls fall in love but due to differences they fall apart later on. “When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped,” he said.

‘Women raped should also be punished’

Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party’s another senior leader Abu Azmi dropped another bomb shell saying “women who were raped should also be punished”.

“Rape was punishable by death in Islam. Rape is punishable by hanging in Islam. But here, nothing happens to women, only to men. Even the woman is guilty,”Azmi was quoted as saying by Indian TV channel NDTV.

He said, “In India, if you have sex with a person with consent, it is fine. But if that same person complains, it is a problem. Nowadays, we see a lot of such cases. Girls complain when someone touches them, and even when someone doesn’t touch them. It becomes a problem then, and the man’s honour is ruined in this. If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam.”

When asked what should be solution to problem of rapes, Azmi said, “Solution is this: any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”

Comments draw strong opposition

The comments by Mulayam and his party’s senior leader have evoked strong reactions with political parties, social and women groups slamming them.

The parents of 23-year-old girl, who died after being gang-raped in a moving bus in Indian capital New Delhi in December, 2012,  condemned Mulayam’s comments.

“If a gang of people rapes a woman, it is not a mistake but it is a crime,” her father said.

He said Mulayam considers himself a prime ministerial candidate. “If people at such position speak like this, what will our nation come to?”

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Asia News/ NationalTurk India News

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